All female singing group, Adunni& Nefretiti were the first acts to open the maiden edition of the Afropolitan Vibes music festival. The Afropolitan vibes Music festival, a first of its kind in Nigeria, was divided into 2 sessions, urban acoustic sessions during the day and live stage performances at night accompanied by local board games and art exhibitions.
Adorned in flowing blue and orange gowns, Adunni & Nefretiti filled the Wole Soyinka hall with their melodies as they sang folk songs fluidly from dialect to dialect, they sang in Yoruba, Bini, Kalabari, Urhobo, and Igbo, their voices backed by the beat of the shekere each of them played in steady tempo. “We represent women all over the world, the leader of the group said just before they got on stage, that is why we took the name Nefretiti from the powerful Queen of Egypt. You don’t have to be sophisticated to sing, local women don’t learn formal music but they can sing. We go to them to learn the songs in their languages and also understand the alphabets of the language.” Adunni & Nefretiti have been singing together for 10 years.
Their outstanding performance would set the pace for the 2-day music festival. Artist after artist came on and gave their best to the audience. The duo of Ayo Awosika and Mary Akpa came on stage next and delivered soulful tunes backed by soft guitar strings and piano keys. Aduke was next, Aduke often described as female Fela due to the presence of societal issues and government criticism in most of her songs came on stage with a 3-man band comprising of a violinist, a drummer who played the tambourine as he drummed and a guitarist who also doubled as her backup singer. Aduke played the ukulele before switching to the guitar.
The amazing Falana was up next, her deep rich voice soon filled the hall as she played and lost herself in the music. Gospel artist, Nosa gave an energetic performance which saw the end of the acoustic session for festival day 1. The urban session for festival day 2 was no different. Jinmi Abdul, Kelene, Sir Shina Bakare who recorded his first album in 1968, Tomi Thomas and the Keziah Jones.
The night sessions were even more energetic than the urban session. The crowd, perhaps induced by the house palm wine sang along with the artists, some joined the artists, Terry Apala, Saheed Osupa, Sir Kollington and many others on stage singing and dancing together.
Although Freedom Park was not filled as it usually is for the monthly Afropolitan vibes event, perhaps due to the activity filled weekend, the first ever Afropolitan vibes music festival was a success, and many who attended including movie director, Kunle Afolayan are already anticipating the next festival.
Photo Credit: Afropolitan Vibes Facebook page